WHITNEY, MOM, DAD, Smiling at Me

Whitney, Mom, Dad, Smiling at Me

Aside from wanting his Mom back, what Shawn desires the most is a closer relationship with his family. And Love.

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In Episode 5

With everything Shawn has been through, it’s touching and reassuring to see him in a good place today.

Two things are intriguing to me while hearing Shawn’s story.

The first, is how easy Shawn is to relate to. He feels like a neighbor, a friend, a coworker. I more often go through my day, not especially curious to hear the life stories of the people around. me.

Hearing Shawn’s story reminds me of the benefits of listening.


The second striking part of Shawn’s story is his resilience, his ability to overcome the pain and rejection he suffered from his Mom’s neglect, and her suicide. I am always intrigued by how some people are able to overcome trauma, while others seem to carry their pain with them, turn to drugs, or repeat the pattern of abuse dealt to them.

Whitney, Mom, Dad, Smiling at Me

Spending time in a room with Shawn, getting to know him, I feel like I’m with someone who is thriving. He’s curious, charming, kind… he feels grateful for what he has, never entitled.

Two Epiphanies

Aside from wanting his Mom back, what Shawn desires the most is a closer relationship with his family. And love. This comes as something of a revelation to Shawn, who seems surprised by his own candor.

The second epiphany comes when Steve asks who or what turned things around for him. Shawn reveals that his secret was to simply stop feeling sorry for himself.

This comes as a big epiphany, and a great interview moment. On camera, Shawn realized that he has himself to thank largely for the great things that have happened to him in the second half of his life.

As an interviewer, I can tell you this is about as good as it gets! And as a songwriter, I think I might have my hook.

Discover Other Great Singers

Check out our other signers. Everyday real people who share their unique stories about overcoming pain and abuse and learning to thrive. Watch as Steve captures their unique stories with real songs about their lives.

What is Toronto Song Project?

Toronto Song Project is a Web Series where Steve searches the city for Real People with Real Stories, then writes them a real song based on their life events.

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